With grant funding of up to 40 per cent (max £25,000) now potentially available for all Yorkshire farming businesses, there has never been a better time to consider harnessing the power of the wind.
Yorkshire Forward’s Farm Resource Efficiency Programme (FREP) offers small capital grants designed to help farmers improve the overall economic performance of their holdings. This has now been extended to be available to arable farmers, whereas in the past it has been limited to improving livestock efficiency.
As more people look to the wind to generate power, single wind turbines on farms and rural developments are becoming more popular – and installing a small wind development scheme can help rural businesses offset their energy costs.
To incentivise the development of renewable energy schemes, the department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) will award double Renewable Obligation Certificate’s (ROCs) to micro wind schemes under 50kw from April 2009.
Individual turbines appropriate for farm use can range from 5kw to up to 50kw depending on the property’s electricity demand. A fully installed 15kw turbine will produce approximately 35,000kw/hrs pa and with an installed turbine costing on average £3,000/kw, payback periods can now be as low as 5.5 years.
If you feel you may have a suitable site, the Carter Jonas Energy Team is available to provide advice on turbine siting and grid connections, feasibility and projected returns, planning and the availability of grant funding. In addition we can offer advice on turbine suitability and selection, the process for selling electricity and ROCs back to an energy provider and help with arrangement of finance.
Given that the UK is the windiest place in Europe, rural businesses should be capitalising on one of our most abundant resources.